On Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, with the historic trophy back in Chicago for the next year, the city is coming together to celebrate the victors like no other city can.
Tomorrow morning, the festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a victory parade traversing much of the downtown area. It will end at Soldier Field where the players will enter the stadium with the Stanley Cup and a rally for the team will begin. Many guests are expected to attend and anyone who wishes to be present at Soldier Field can obtain free tickets through TicketMaster beginning on Wednesday afternoon.
The city will be celebrating tomorrow and for good reason – the Blackhawks are undoubtedly a dynasty and they have brought pride to all of Chicago. But with the celebrations will come an increased risk of car accidents and pedestrian collisions in the downtown area so all those who will be in Chicago should be on guard.
First, many roads in the Loop and other areas of downtown will be closed by 9:00 a.m. If you drive to work or if you plan on driving to the parade or rally, note that you may be prevented from taking a route you would normally drive or you may be prevented from parking in an area that you prefer. Check anticipated road closures ahead of time and make your plans in response.
Second, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office has stated expressly that there will be zero tolerance for drinking on the public way. This means that, though it may be a celebration in the city, all participants must still act in an appropriate and responsible manner and drinking in public will be prohibited. Despite this rule, it is likely that some celebrants will choose to ignore the ban and will consume alcohol anyway. These people may get into a car and drive after drinking, substantially increasing the risk of a drunk driving accident occurring. Or they may be pedestrians who may wander into the road when they do not have the right-of-way or at some point other than a pedestrian crosswalk. All drivers and all others in the downtown area should take note and should be on alert for the possible presence of impaired individuals near the victory parade and/or rally.
Finally, the pedestrian traffic along the parade route and near Soldier Field is expected to be significantly greater than it is on a typical Thursday. Walkers may be unsure of where to cross or they may be forced to take a different path than anticipated due to road and sidewalk closures. If you plan to drive in the area – regardless of whether you will be participating in the celebration – be extremely cautious of pedestrians as they may enter a roadway at any point. Keep in mind that pedestrians often have the right-of-way when crossing a road and that no driver is legally allowed to ignore the right of a walker or to take steps that will threaten that pedestrian’s safety.
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. want to congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks and the City of Chicago on their well-deserved win and we look forward to celebrating tomorrow right alongside you. To make the celebration a success, we encourage everyone to consider safety if they will be in the City and to act with extra caution throughout the day.
We hope that you are able to participate in Thursday’s activities and that you have a fun time. But if the unthinkable should happen and you are involved in a pedestrian accident or a car crash, know that our legal team will be available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. We offer all victims a free case consultation without obligation and if we represent you for your injuries, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Stay safe tomorrow, Chicago, and Go Blackhawks!
Prior Blog Entry:
Cause of Fatal Car Accident in Chicago Unknown, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 15, 2015.